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Economics and Social Policy: The Keynesian Perspective

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Paul B.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Economics
  3. Under the Keynesian economics
  4. Issues and problems
  5. Conclusion

At the onset of civilization, it has always been the aim of surviving societies to establish a kind of welfare state- one that is able to deliver the basic necessities and services to its inhabitants through various modes available. The delivery of services includes, but not is limited to, those activities that are financed but not necessarily produced by the State and those activities initiated by the State itself. Those activities by the State that are directed towards delivery of welfare services to the citizens are achieved and realized through the creation of different social policies. Purposively, these social policies target specific areas of societal needs. In relation to such social policies, even if there are no clear set of boundaries, a welfare state is used as ?shorthand for the state's activities in four broad areas: cash benefits; health care; education; and food, housing, and other welfare services' (Barr, 2004: 21). Clearly, these four broad areas show the interdependence of social needs and services with that of economic issues. In the early 20th century John Maynard Kaynes developed a body of theory that would allow the government to achieve these ends.

Economics plays a major role in the creation of social policies. Consequently, this is also to note that social policies are intertwined with, if not greatly dominated by economic policies. Logically speaking, a government will always assess, evaluate and set an amount that it is able and willing to spend for the delivery of welfare services. Macroeconomics concerns such as public spending affects the framework from which social policies will be established.

[...] Henderson, D. (2010). Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Incorporated. Keynes, J. M. (1987). Shaping the Post-War World: Bretton Woods and Reparations. In D. Moggridge, The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [...]


[...] What economic theory or perspective should the State carry out? At this point, it is therefore important for a State to adopt an economic stance and policies that lead towards a more or less stable economic situation so that the general welfare be secured through effective implementation of social policies. Under the Keynesian economics, contrary to the mainstream view that the economy is in a state of equilibrium, it advocates that the aggregate demand is not always equal to the aggregate supply. [...]

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